Grounds for Challenging a Will

This Lunch and Learn seminar will address common grounds for challenging a Will, including “lack of testamentary capacity,” “lack of knowledge and approval of the contents of the Will,” and “undue influence.”

Grounds for Challenging a Will

This program is eligible for CPD hours required of Lawyers.
This program is eligible for CPD hours required of Lawyers.
Grounds for Challenging a Will

This Lunch and Learn seminar will address common grounds for challenging a Will, including “lack of testamentary capacity,” “lack of knowledge and approval of the contents of the Will,” and “undue influence.” 

A duly executed Will is presumed to be valid.  Where the circumstances surrounding the making of the Will cause the Court to suspect that the testator lacked the capacity, knowledge, or approval to make the Will, the burden shifts to the propounder of the Will (usually the Estate Trustee) to prove the Will’s validity “in solemn form.” 

To have testamentary capacity, a testator must be of sound mind, memory, and understanding. They must be capable of understanding and acting on his or her own initiative and volition. 

A testator must also understand their property, persons who would be the beneficiaries of the estate, and that they would be revoking any prior Wills. A testator is determined to lack capacity when, at the time they executed the Will, the Court finds that they did not understand one or more of these elements.

Finally, a testator cannot have made their Will under the coercive pressure of another person. Courts are likely to set aside a Will when evidence shows that the testator’s own views and opinions were overwhelmed to a point that the Will does not reflect the true intentions of the testator.

Topics include:

  • Lack of testamentary capacity
  • Lack of knowledge and approval
  • Undue influence

Discussion Materials

Main Paper

Session Recording

In the Media

This article was published by Law360 Canada, part of Lexis Nexis Canada Inc. on March 9, 2023.

Presenters

Counsel, Wagner Sidlofsky LLP

David Freedman

Past Associate, Wagner Sidlofsky LLP

Harkirt Singh Dhadda

Gold Sponsors

b'nai brith canada
Wagner Sidlofsky LLP
Toronto Dominion Bank

Silver Sponsors

Bank of Montreal - Trust and Estate Services
Gold Sponsors
b'nai brith canada
Wagner Sidlofsky LLP
Toronto Dominion Bank
Silver Sponsors
Bank of Montreal - Trust and Estate Services
David Freedman

C. David Freedman

Counsel, Wagner Sidlofsky LLP

David brings an approach to resolving his clients’ legal issues that is rooted in a deep understanding of the law but is very pragmatic. He is happy to work with clients on simple and complex matters and within the confines of a client’s resources.

Harkirt Singh Dhadda

Past Associate, Wagner Sidlofsky LLP

Harkirt was an associate in the Firm’s Estate and Commercial Litigation Groups. Prior to joining the Firm, Harkirt articled at a full-service litigation firm in Toronto where he focused primarily on commercial litigation matters.